There are two kinds of freak athletes—those who are freakishly good, and those who are good despite being freakish.
People are always surprised when someone who doesn't look like a stereotypical jock is a good athlete.
Call it the "Susan Boyle" effect.
I decided to compile a list of current professional athletes that succeed in professional sports despite their apparent lack of physical aptitude.
Tim Lincecum is one such athlete. His nickname is even "The Freak." He looks like a stoner, to be honest, and even before his marijuana troubles over the summer a lot of people speculated whether he was “high all the time”.
His hair is long and mangy, he is small in stature—runtish even—yet he is the reigning two-time NL Cy Young winner, and his stuff is ridiculously good.
Roy Nelson is another "freak" of professional sports. Nicknamed "Big Country," Nelson sports a gut that you would expect see on a professional Pabst drinker, not a professional athlete, but nonetheless, he won The Ultimate Fighter 10 competition last year, earning himself a six-figure UFC contract.
That’s right, this guy fights in the UFC, and when he wins a fight he sticks his gut out and rubs it like a drunken redneck.
I really can't account for his fatness, because his cardio is not that bad for a heavyweight, and he is a legitimate Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
Shaun White is not that weird looking for a snowboarder, but most people are amazed to see a little ginger kid doing the things he does on a snowboard. Nicknamed “The Flying Tomato,” White is the best snowboarder in the world, despite his unusual appearance.
Pablo Sandoval—I’m not saying he doesn't look like a baseball player (or I’d have to include Prince Fielder on this list), but you could never tell from looking at him that the Giants third baseman has some wheels on him. Nicknamed “Kung Fu Panda,” Sandoval can hit, run, and field with the best of them.
Gordon Hayward—There's always that player in the NCAA tournament who you would never guess has basketball skills. Hayward was the one who caught my eye this year, as he looks more like someone who should be working at the local In-N-Out than an elite college athlete carrying his team to the NCAA championship game (and damn near almost winning it with that last shot).
Joakim Noah looks like an ogre, but he is averaging 17.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, and 3 apg in the NBA playoffs this year for the Chicago Bulls. He was also part of the Florida Gators team that won the NCAA tournament in 2006 and 2007. Not bad for a person of his freakish stature.
At 6’2’’, 250 lbs, Janokawski looks fat and out of shape, but is surprisingly athletic. He is the placekicker for the Oakland Raiders, and has a leg like a cannon—as evidenced by his career-long 61-yard field goal. He holds the franchise scoring title for the Raiders, as well as the NFL record for longest field goal in OT (57 yards in 2008).
Antonio Alfonseca is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He last pitched in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies, in 2007. Alfonseca makes this list because of his lopsided protruding gut, as the well as the fact that he has SIX FINGERS ON EACH HAND AND SIX TOES ON EACH FOOT.
Nicknamed El Pulpo (The Octopus), Alfonseca has a condition known as Polydactyly, which makes it even more impressive that he reached the major league level of baseball.
Even with his recent weight loss, Daly requires a double take. Known for his ridiculous behavior on the golf course, Daly’s flashy outfits and drunken escapades have overshadowed the fact that his lifetime average driving distance is 309 yards.
He recently had weight-loss surgery and has dialed down the drinking (he claims he used to drink a fifth of Jack Daniels every day), but he will remain on this list until the day he retires.
Jaime Moyer is a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies who makes this list because of his age—he is 47-years-old. He is currently the oldest member of MLB, and he looks more like a grandpa than an MLB pitcher. He has been in the league for a whopping 24 years, compiling a record of 258-195.
David Eckstein looks more like a jockey than a MLB second baseman. At 5’7’’, he is nicknamed “Sparkplug”, and has won a World Series in both the American and National Leagues.
That's all for now! If you have any other (current) professionals you would like to add to this list, feel free, and if they are worthy I will add them in!